Environment

BRICS Ministers Meetings

2015 Russia meeting: Documents

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BRICS Environment Ministers meeting on April 22, 2015, Russia

The first official BRICS Environment Ministers meeting took place on April 22, 2015, in Moscow, Russia, during the Russian Presidency of BRICS. This meeting marked an important milestone in environmental cooperation among BRICS countries.

Meeting Details

Date and Venue

The meeting took place on April 22, 2015, which coincided with Earth Day, emphasizing the importance of environmental issues. It was held in Moscow, Russia, as part of the Russian Presidency of BRICS for that year.

Participants

  • Brazil: Izabella Teixeira, Minister of Environment
  • Russia: Sergey Donskoy, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment
  • India: Prakash Javadekar, Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change
  • China: Chen Jining, Minister of Environmental Protection
  • South Africa: Edna Molewa, Minister of Environmental Affairs

Additionally, Achim Steiner, the UNEP Executive Director and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, attended the meeting, highlighting its international significance.

Key Discussions and Outcomes

1. Sustainable Development Goals

The ministers discussed the upcoming United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which were to be adopted later that year. They emphasized the need for BRICS countries to align their environmental policies with these global objectives.

2. Climate Change

With the Paris Climate Conference (COP21) approaching in December 2015, the ministers discussed their countries’ positions on climate change mitigation and adaptation. They stressed the importance of the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities” in addressing climate issues.

3. Green Economy

The concept of a green economy was a central topic. Ministers explored how their countries could transition towards more sustainable economic models while maintaining growth and development.

4. Biodiversity Conservation

The meeting addressed the critical issue of biodiversity loss and the need for conservation efforts in BRICS countries, which are home to a significant portion of the world’s biodiversity.

5. Water Resources Management

Given the diverse water challenges faced by BRICS nations, from scarcity to flooding, the ministers discussed strategies for better water resource management.

6. Air Quality

With several BRICS countries facing severe air pollution issues, particularly in urban areas, air quality improvement strategies were on the agenda.

Joint Statement and Commitments

The meeting concluded with a joint statement that outlined several key commitments:

  1. Strengthening cooperation on environmental protection and climate change within the BRICS framework.
  2. Supporting the finalization and implementation of the post-2015 development agenda (later known as the SDGs).
  3. Enhancing collaboration in areas such as air and water quality, waste management, and biodiversity conservation.
  4. Promoting the exchange of knowledge, technologies, and best practices in environmental management.
  5. Encouraging private sector involvement in environmental protection and sustainable development initiatives.

Significance and Follow-up

This inaugural meeting set the stage for regular environmental cooperation among BRICS countries. It led to the establishment of a working group on environment and subsequent annual meetings of BRICS environment ministers.The discussions and commitments made during this meeting influenced the individual and collective environmental policies of BRICS nations in the following years, contributing to their positions in international environmental forums and negotiations.

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